If you don't need it, don't take it.
That is the message AARP Colorado is sending to Coloradans 65 and older when it comes to older adults and the homestead exemption.
See Also: List of Colorado County Assessors
While the homestead tax exemption, which reduces the amount of property tax paid by all residents 65 and older regardless of their income, has been in place for many years, it hasn't been allowed for most of that time due to budget shortfalls.
This session, the Colorado legislature found funding for the exemption, which reduces property tax by about half for those 65 and older who have been in their own homes more than 10 years.
AARP Colorado worked hard to secure an amendment to the bill that says any overflow may be used to help badly underfunded community senior services. In addition, recipients of the exemption may refuse the credit if they are turning 65 and have not yet signed up for the exemption. Those who have signed on to receive the exemption and want to waive it to help others in their own age group, may do so by calling their county assessor’s office after July 15.
More information on this exemption is forthcoming, said AARP State Director Morie Smile.
"This is a great opportunity to help others in your community if you feel you can afford to do so," she said. "Right now senior services in our community are underfunded by tens of thousands of dollars. Every little bit helps."
Smile said the older Coloradans act needs at least $100 million to meet the current need for senior services like meals on wheels, according to an assessment done several years ago.